“Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960" at the Figge Art Museum -- through May 7.

Through Sunday, May 7

Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA

Showcased at the Figge Art Museum through May 7, the touring exhibition Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960 will be on view in the Davenport venue's third- and fourth-floor galleries, and boasts 64 fully accessorized ensembles comprised of more than 480 historic objects.

The first exhibition to ever explore the evolution of this particular attire in Western fashion over this 160-year period, Sporting Fashion highlights ensembles worn by women active in the sporting world from the turn of the 19th century to the mid-20th century. Examining the competing priorities of style, function, and propriety, the touring exhibit (organized by the American Federation of Arts and the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles) reconstructs a material history of women in sport through the garments and accessories that enabled them to compete and excel. Sporting Fashion features fully accessorized ensembles and a selection of sport-related accessories and ephemera drawn from the exceptional collections of the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Exhibiting 19th-century bathing and bicycling garments alongside 20th-century apparel for boxing and aviation, the exhibition displays the modernity, individuality, and mobility of the "new woman" and demonstrates the continued fight for equality.

Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960 is organized into eight themes, each exploring how clothing met the needs of new pursuits for women: Stepping Outdoors; Further Afield; Taking the Reins; Making Waves; Subzero Style; Wheels and Wings; Having a Ball; and A Team Effort. The exhibition includes ensembles for activities ranging from yachting to calisthenics, and from motorcycling to promenading. To complement the artifacts on view, a timeline of key events and biographies of sixteen important sportswomen further situates sporting fashion in the broader context of women’s social history. Sporting Fashion is curated by Kevin L. Jones, FIDM Museum Curator, and Christina M. Johnson, FIDM Museum Associate Curator, and its illustrated, 344-page catalogue with a foreword by Serena Williams is one of the very few authoritative publications on the development and evolution of women’s athletic attire. Support for the national tour has been provided by the AFA’s Gold Medal Circle: Elizabeth Belfer, Stephanie Borynack Clark, Ashleigh Fernandez, Lee White Galvis, Stephanie R. La Nasa, Merrill Mahan, Clare E. McKeon, Jennifer New, Angela Timashev, and Victoria Ershova Triplett.

Sporting Fashion: Outdoor Girls 1800 to 1960 will be on display through May 7, and regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays (10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays) and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Museum admission is $4-10, and more information is available by calling (563)326-7804 and visiting FiggeArtMuseum.org.

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